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Tuesday
Jun182013

Great Vegan Bean Book by Kathy Hester - Cashew-Bean Queso

My friend Kathy Hester is a food magician, creating amazing deep flavor without much work. Tonight I made her Vegan Cashew-Bean Queso to have with chips. (Don't look at me that way. My Taster is out of town and it's the finale of The Voice.) In less than fifteen minutes, I whipped up this savory dip. It bears an uncanny resemblance to the queso dip I used to get at my favorite Mexican restaurants.

Cashew-Bean Queso from a recipe in The Great Vegan Bean Book by Kathy Hester as cooked and photographed by Linda Watson

This recipe is from Kathy's new latest, The Great Vegan Bean Book. That should give you the clue that this dip is also healthy, with at least three advantages over traditional queso: less stringy mess to get on your clothes, less expensive, and less (that is, zero) cholesterol. It's as healthy as hummus but feels more indulgent. Like all of Kathy's books, this one is a terrific choice for vegans and omnivores alike who want to explore "the kindest protein around."

Here's Kathy's recipe for Vegan Cashew-Cheese Bean Dip ...

... formatted a bit in Cook-for-Good style.

1 1/2 cups cooked white beans (269 grams) (or use one 15-ounce can, rinsed and drained)
1/2 cup raw cashews (70 grams)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (nooch) (24 grams)
1/2 cup nondairy milk (unsweetened is best) (I used unsweetened coconut milk)
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped green chiles (I used a fresh jalapeño)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
a few slices pickled or fresh jalapeño

Active time: 15 minutes. Total time: 15 minutes. Makes 3 cups.

Method

Add everything to a food processor fitted with the cutting blade or to a blender and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Feel free to add hot chili powder for more heat. You can warm this on the stove top, in the microwave, or in a slow cooker, if desired.

Notes

  • I made my own pickled jalapeños and beets using my Hot Pink Refrigerator Pickle recipe. Keep the peppers in a separate container from the beets, though, or they'll turn muddy brown.
  • I thought I wouldn't want to add the salt because I used canned beans, but just a half-teaspoon made the difference between OK and spatula-lickin' good.
  • Get Kathy's Great Vegan Bean Book at your local bookstore or on Amazon. You'll love the other bean recipes and the photographs by Renee Comet. (Renee, please do the illustrated version of Fifty Weeks of Green with me!)
  • This post is part of Kathy's blog tour. Check out the other blogs and some of other other recipes. I'm eager to try Tongue of Fire Soup, which Manifest Vegan Allyson Kramer made look so intriguing but approachable.
  • Update the next morning: I ran out of peanut butter, so I thought "why not 'cheese' toast with this queso dip?" Dee-licious! And much healthier and less messy. 

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